New FFI briefing on biodiversity and carbon storage

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has today released a briefing paper titled Why biodiversity matters for carbon storage. It explores the complex relationship between species diversity and carbon sequestration.

The carbon storage value of a forest is essentially dependent on the trees within it photosynthesising and storing carbon. Changes in biodiversity may directly, and indirectly, affect the likelihood of tree survival and thus carbon storage.

For example, hunting of species that act as seed dispersers may result in a shift in tree species composition, and could ultimately alter carbon storage potential. That’s because different plant species are more efficient at sequestering and storing carbon from the atmosphere.

Biodiversity is also likely to strengthen an ecosystem’s resilience, meaning its ability to survive change such as natural disasters and climate change. A more resilient ecosystem is more likely to be able to maintain its carbon storage function in the long-term.

Simply protecting forest cover for its carbon value does not necessarily prevent a loss of the species within. Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) schemes that incorporate biodiversity conservation, such as REDD+ projects, may be more effective at preventing release of carbon emissions than those that don’t.

Find out more about REDD and FFI’s REDD initiatives.

Photo credits: Juan Pablo Moreiras/FFI, Jeremey Holden/FFI.